The thoroughly discredited theory (researcher Helane Wabeh slapped it down on NPR last week) is that teenagers are using binaural beats, or stereo channels calibrated at slightly different frequencies, to get high -- because, supposedly, slightly different frequencies in your headphones get you fucked up, man.
They don't, it turns out. Binaural beats are about as trippy as bunk acid, and the kid pictured above is doing nothing more than dealing with his inner teen angst. Bearing that in mind, here's five other things parents can stop worrying about.
05. Sexting Newsflash: If your kids are teenagers, all they think about is sex. Ever. Luckily for your moral code, the boys are acne-ridden and gross enough to dissuade the girls from actually engaging in it with them. Will they "sext?" Perhaps. But what the hell, at least your darling little girl is not getting knocked up that way.
04. Marilyn Manson One of the few shock-rockers to get his name into the parental lexicon, Marilyn Manson gained enough notoriety in the wake of Columbine that parents still invoke him as a reference point for crazy teen behavior. The good news is: You can stop worrying about him now. He's irrelevant. The bad news is: Have you heard about this whole iDosing phenomenon?
03. Jelly Bracelets According to a rumor that has no traction for anyone under forty, teenage girls wear jelly bracelets (like the ones above) to indicate which sex acts they would theoretically perform, were a boy to snap the bracelet off her wrist (which, we're guessing, would be painful for the girl, and result, most likely, in a swift kick to the nuts for the boy). The bracelets' "code," concocted entirely by parents with too much free time, achieves a surprising degree of specificity ("glittery blue" evidently indicates "anal sex"), suggesting that teenagers aren't the only ones with lovin' on their minds.
02. Heroin It's "the latest teen craze," according to this shamelessly hysterical ABC report based almost entirely on conjecture. Sigh. Do some teenagers do heroin? Yes. Is it a "teen craze" like that crazy Pokemon cartoon? No. For real: Your kid is almost definitely not doing heroin. Relax.
01. Gay marriageHighly unlikely to turn your kid gay.